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Sackner Archive Exhibition: Home

This guide is a collection of resources related to the Sackner Archive exhibition in the Main Library Gallery. (Fall 2020.)

Resources for Gallery Visitors


In June 2019, the University of Iowa announced that the University Libraries had been chosen as the new home of the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the most comprehensive such collection in the world. To celebrate the opening of this important collection to the public and to introduce Iowans and the University community to the vast and impressive range of resources held in the Sackner Archive, from artists’ books to reference works to large-scale works of visual poetry, an inaugural exhibition featuring a few highlights from the collection is being held in the Main Library Gallery from August 24 – December 11, 2020.

Besides demonstrating the remarkable artistry and diversity of some of the most significant poet-artists of the past hundred years, the exhibition will bring to light some of the many ways the new collection can support teaching and research at the University.

Sackner Archive was drawn almost entirely from the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. We recognize and appreciate the decades of constant, careful work that Ruth and Marvin put into curating this collection for their "Home Sweet Museum." The University of Iowa Libraries remains honored to have been chosen as its new "Home Sweet Library."

Exhibit Curation: Timothy Shipe, Peter Balestrieri, Margaret Gamm




  • Curator Highlights from Sackner Archive: VIRTUAL EXHIBIT
    A small virtual selection of items from the exhibition, including photographs, curator commentary, and additional details.
  • Sackner Archive Exhibition Guide
    Accessible PDF document. The complete guide to the exhibition, including curators' statements; an introduction; defining concrete and visual poetry; providing background and detail for poets, movements, and works represented in the exhibition; a comprehensive item list; and complete exhibition credits.



University of Iowa Libraries Conservator Giselle Simón demonstrates the movement, sound, and other elements of select items from the Sackner Archive exhibition:



Concrete! is a film about Ruth and Marvin Sackner produced and directed by their daughter, Sara Sackner. The film is shown in the Main Library Gallery exhibition and also available to view here.


Documentary Trailer

Documentary Film







  • Contact Special Collections
    To learn more about the complete Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry at the University of Iowa Libraries, contact Special Collections.
  • The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry
    Original website for The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry. The introduction page gives a very detailed explanation of Ruth and Marvin Sackner's collecting interest and methods, and is an excellent resource for information about many of the poets and works represented in their collection.
  • UbuWeb - Visual Poetry
    "UbuWeb's Visual Poetry section exposes little-seen exemplars of historical praxis and models of contemporary insight to a wider audience. This section includes anthologies, ephemeral publications, criticism and sporadic journals dedicated to visual poetry."
  • UbuWeb - Concrete Poetry
    This large online collection of concrete poetry also includes a lot of helpful information about concrete poets and the art form.
  • A force on the Miami art scene, Ruth Sackner dies at 79
    October 11, 2015. Carli Teproff. Miami Herald. News article about the Sackners as a couple and as collectors of concrete and visual poetry.
  • Large visual poetry collection moves into UI Special Collections
    July 10, 2019. Rylee Wilson. The Daily Iowan. News article about the acquisition of the Sackner Archive with detail about collectors Ruth and Marvin Sackner and quotes from two exhibit co-curators, Timothy Shipe and Margaret Gamm.

Exhibition and Engagement Coordinator, Main Library Gallery

Sara Pinkham's picture
Sara Pinkham
Main Library Gallery
(319) 467-1805